GREENBELT: Nisar Ahmed Chaudhry, age 71, of Columbia, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to failure to file a foreign agent registration statement, said US Department of Justice. The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers; and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.According to his plea agreement, Chaudhry, a national of Pakistan and lawful permanent resident of the United States, represented himself to be the President of the Pakistan American League, an unincorporated entity he created and associated with his residential address in Maryland.Chaudhry failed to file a registration statement with the Attorney General, as required by law, providing notification of his activities on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, and falsely represented that his activities in relation to Pakistan were solely educational in nature and executed for the benign purpose of encouraging better relations between the United States and Pakistan. According to his plea agreement, from 2012 through 2018, Chaudhry acted as an agent of the Government of Pakistan in order to engage in political activities for, and in the interests of, the Government of Pakistan. These activities were designed by Chaudhry to obtain and manage information on the status of the United States Government’s policies regarding Pakistan, and to influence US government officials and US foreign policy towards Pakistan.Chaudhry interacted on a routine basis with representatives of the Government of Pakistan, at their Embassy in Washington, D.C. and consular office in New York City. Chaudhry also interacted with numerous institutes, foundations, and organizations operating in and around Washington, D.C., commonly referred to as “think tanks,” that played a role in shaping and influencing US foreign policy. Chaudhry organized roundtable discussions in the Washington D.C., and Maryland metropolitan areas between his American government and think tank contacts and visiting Pakistan government officials to influence United States foreign policy in a direction favorable to Pakistan’s interests. Chaudhry cultivated contacts within these entities and the United States government in order to obtain in-depth information regarding the United States government’s policies towards Pakistan. Chaudhry then sought to neutralize unfavorable views of Pakistan held by current and former US government officials by employing certain methods of discussion with these individuals during personal interactions with them and/or by controlling and manipulating discussion at the roundtable events he organized or attended. In order to be more effective in obtaining information of interest to Pakistan, and to gain a strategic advantage in acquiring information that might not otherwise be divulged to official representatives of the Government of Pakistan, Chaudhry falsely represented that his activities were solely educational in nature and not affiliated with the Pakistan government. These representations were made not only to American think tank scholars, but also to current and former United States government officials, including US Customs and Border Patrol agents who interviewed Chaudhry upon entry into the United States from his travels to Pakistan.According to his plea agreement, Chaudhry regularly traveled to Pakistan to brief high-level Pakistan government officials on information obtained from his American government and think tank contacts.Published in Daily Times, May 9th 2018.